7 Crucial Tennis Tips for Beginners to Play Like Pros
With these tennis tips, even beginners can look like pros. Read the best tips for absolute beginners and anyone looking to improve here.
Thinking about getting into tennis? Good choice — tennis is a great life sport that fits people of all ages and experience levels.
In essence, tennis is all about the three Rs. First, you need to be Ready for the ball to come to you by Reading its speed, angle, and course. Then, you must React by positioning yourself to hit the ball in the best way possible.
As simple as the game is, picking up a racket for the first time can be overwhelming. To help you out, we compiled a list of 7 tennis tips that any beginner should know.
1. Get in Shape
Before starting any formal training, you should work on increasing your fitness levels. That way, learning the basics of the game will be far more enjoyable.
As a general rule, you’ll want to begin running about 3 months before starting with the game. Your main goal is to get used to the higher heart rate. This helps you build up more endurance and stamina and gets you close to achieving fitness goals.
Depending on your location, the impending bad weather may hinder your ability to play. In this case, it’s better to start playing right away instead of waiting. Learning the sport is more difficult if you’re out of shape, but getting started is a big deal.
2. Find a Coach
Tennis is a life sport, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to learn. Like with other individual sports, finding the right coach makes a big difference.
This is particularly true if you’re don’t know much about tennis to begin with. For instance, a coach can explain the difference between a backhand and a forehand. Other than that, a coach can help you focus on the fun of the game.
See, no matter what level you’re playing at, sticking with tennis requires you to have fun. A good coach will know how to avoid burnout by keeping things varied. That involves coming up with games and challenges that give you a solid foundation.
3. Buy the Right Equipment
Are you approaching your first coaching or practice session? If so, you won’t want to show up without having the right gear to play.
Other than a sturdy pair of shoes, the most important thing is to get the right racket. Most beginners tend to struggle with form and consistency, so you’re looking for something that’s light. A bigger head size also helps when learning to play.
Something like a Babolat Pure Drive checks almost every box out there. It’s got great swing-weight and isn’t too heavy, so it’s perfect for beginners. For more equipment tips, you can always consult your coach or a local tennis pro.
4. Work on Your Strikes
Outside of your serves, you should make most of your shots at waist height. To adjust, focus on using your knees instead of bending at the waist.
Visualization is a big part of the ball striking process. If you’re off the court and want to hit the ball straight, visualize hitting it dead center. To get the right amount of topspin, visualize snapping your wrist toward the net while hitting the ball.
When it comes to your serves, learn to keep your eyes on the ball after it leaves your racket. This helps you determine whether the contact point was correct. Once you get you used to that, it’s much easier to learn shots such as the kick serve.
5. Improve Your Footwork
Improving footwork is one of the most important tennis tips for beginners. Being a talented shot-maker won’t matter if you’re always in the wrong position.
One thing you should do is try to stay on your toes. This allows you to be more explosive when chasing down the ball. If you have time to set up in your approach, use smaller steps to slow yourself down and get in a better position.
Never get too close to the ball, as you’ll end up hitting it with a bent elbow. To figure out where you should stand, extend your arm while keeping the head away from you. Then, position yourself so that you can hit the ball with a straight arm.
6. Use the Right Grip
If you’re working with a coach, ask them for advice about your grip. All grips have their own pros and cons, so choosing one isn’t as simple as you may think.
If you’re learning tennis on your own, look up the various grips online. Once you choose a grip, do your best to stick with it. There are plenty of viable grips out there, but the most important thing to focus on is consistency.
Regardless of which grip you choose, make sure to use it every day for as much as you can. This is a big help in developing muscle memory and strengthening the muscles. Your goal is for the racket to feel like an extension of your hand.
7. Find a Partner
At the very least, tennis is a game for two people. The best way to get better at playing it is to find the right partner.
For best results, you’ll want to practice with someone at your skill level or a bit better. That way, it will be easier for you to improve. Unless you’re particularly lucky, this means you won’t get much of playing with your friends or significant others.
As your tennis skills improve, keep seeking out tougher competition. If you have the means, look for players who can challenge the weak points in your game. For example, playing against a strong server is a great way to improve your returns.
More Tennis Tips You Should Know
By following some — if not all — of the tennis tips above, you can become a better player. The key is to practice as much as possible, even off the court.
Once you’re comfortable with a racket, consider going to a tournament. Finding a competition with the right skill level can be a great practice motivator. Even if you’re still a beginner, getting out there and competing is still important.
Looking for other tennis tips and tricks that would improve your game? Want to learn more about the different types of tennis equipment? Take a look at our gear-related content!